Effects of Prazosin in the Control of Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Dialysis Patients

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Twenty-two chronic hemodialysis patients with hypertension were treated with prazosin. Eight patients had volume-responsive hypertension, 11 volume-independent, and 3 high-renin hypertension. Blood pressure fell in all volume-responsive patients from a predialysis level of 175 ± 5/100 ± 3 to 148 ± 4/75 ± 3 mm Hg (p < 0.001) after 3 months of therapy. Prazosin alone was effective in volume-responsive patients at a dose of 5 ± 1.0 mg daily. The blood pressure fell in volume-independent patients from 192 ± 7/105 ± 2 mm Hg predialysis to 155 ± 6/80 ± 3 after 3 months (p < 0.001). Two were controlled on prazosin alone at a dose of 12 ± 2 mg daily. Nine required 27 ± 5 mg of prazosin daily as well as additional antihypertensive treatment. The blood pressure fell from 183 ± 3/109 ± 6 mm Hg predialysis to 173 ± 17/85 ± 3 mm Hg in high-renin patients after 3 months. One patient was controlled on 40 mg of prazosin daily. Two required 40 mg of prazosin daily as well as additional antihypertensive medication. Eleven patients described transient dizziness within the first month of therapy. One patient had recurrent syncope necessitating prazosin withdrawal. Prazosin is an effective antihypertensive agent which can be used in all types of hypertensive dialysis patients either alone or in combination with minimal side effects.

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